FARMINGTON — The hiring of the first two full-time firefighters was postponed Tuesday until wording of nepotism clauses in the town’s personnel policy and the Fire/Rescue Department’s hiring policy are changed and considered by selectmen.

Townspeople voted in March to approve hiring four full-time firefighters for the department. The town does not currently have any full-time firefighters, only per-diem staff.

The department has received applications from 11 candidates for those positions, Fire/Rescue Chief Terry Bell said.

The first two recommended candidates, Timothy “TD” Hardy and Scott Baxter, both of Farmington, have fathers in the department. Hardy, a captain, has served for 19 years. Baxter has served for 10 years in the department and has 15 years of fire service experience. Both men are per-diem firefighters.

Baxter also works for the Rumford Fire Department.

Deputy Chief Tim Hardy, TD Hardy’s father, and Deputy Chief Clyde Ross are not involved in the daily operations of per-diem firefighters.

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Baxter’s father, firefighter Ted Baxter, has not been involved either.

Currently, the personnel policy reads in part, “Any individual applying for a position with the town in any department of 10 or more employees will be ineligible if the vacancy exists within the same shift, section or division in which an immediate relative (mother, father, husband, wife, brother, sister, son or daughter) of the family is employed.

The town manager may approve a waiver of this provision if, in his determination, an emergency exists. Other unusual situations must be brought to the Board of Selectmen for consideration.

The personnel policy adopted in 2001 states that the Fire and Recreation departments shall establish a separate policy with regard to hiring of immediate relatives in firefighter and stipend Recreation Department positions.

The Fire/Rescue Department’s hiring policy adopted in 2006 reads in part, “Due to the nature of employment, the Fire/Rescue Department needs to have some flexibility with respect to nepotism clauses adhered to by the other town departments.”

Firefighters in the department at the time were grandfathered.

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The policy also states that rather than curtail department operations because of insufficient staffing, “The Fire/Rescue Department will be allowed to request an exception from the town’s position on nepotism and, if necessary, be able to hire more than one person from the same immediate family, for paid-per-call firefighter positions only.” It continues on to read, “This case-by-case appeal will only be granted by the town manager so that vital positions may be filled.”

The positions are new, full-time jobs that were not in place in 2006, Town Manager Richard Davis said.

Under proposed job descriptions for the first two full-time firefighters, they would be fire captains and would report directly to the chief, Davis said.

TD Hardy is already a captain.

The second two full-time firefighters would report to those captains.

The first two candidates have all of the qualifications needed, Bell said.

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If TD Hardy and Scott Baxter are hired, they would be involved in hiring the second two full-time positions, he said.

Board Chairman Joshua Bell, a nephew of Bell, said he is concerned that if they change the policy, it would affect other departments.

Selectman Michael Fogg said the board is tasked by voters to hire four full-time firefighters.

“I think the issue is wording of the policy,” he said.

Policies are reviewed on a regular basis. The policy can be changed and brought up to date and be made modern, Fogg said.

Davis will draft some wording for the policy for the board to consider at the next meeting.

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